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Tuesday, May 17 • 2:30pm - 3:00pm
(Wooden Artifacts) Going Grey: Mitigating the Weathering of Wood in the Architecture of Louis Kahn

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Louis Kahn's attitude towards natural materials was expressed in his documented preference to allow exterior wood siding to be left unfinished and weather to a silver grey. Influenced by vernacular architecture of the American and Canadian rural landscape, this reference to traditional construction has proved a challenge for stewards as exposure to the elements is in the end consumptive. Exacerbated at times by past treatments such as the application of film forming coatings proved equally problematic contributing to eventual replacement. Like many works of the modern movement that retain their original siding, Kahn's wood clad structures stand at a critical crossroads where the architect's intent and retention of fabric converge. Within the confluence of these values new solutions for intervention have emerged via more sustainable and sensitive maintenance cycles. In 2014, a treatment program for Louis Kahn's Korman House was formulated based upon field test panel evaluations and laboratory work conducted at the University of Pennsylvania to specifically address the weathering and biodeterioration of exterior wood within the context of heritage conservation. This work is currently under implementation and scheduled for full execution in the spring 2016.

avatar for Andrew Fearon

Andrew Fearon

Chief Conservator, Materials Conservation
Since 1995, Andrew Fearon has worked in the field of conservation encompassing architecture, decorative arts, and archaeological materials. In 2006 he joined the Philadelphia based firm Materials Conservation where he currently serves as Chief Architectural Conservator specializing... Read More →


Shuyi Yin

University of Pennsylvania
Shuyi Yin is a graduate of the Historic Preservation Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Her thesis on borates and oil preservative combinations for the conservation of exterior wood evaluates aqueous diffusible borates in combination with a penetrating oil and a nano-size... Read More →

Tuesday May 17, 2016 2:30pm - 3:00pm EDT
Room 514